The Mercouri Estate Winery is located in the Western Peloponnese near the village of Korakochori or “the place of the crow”, 3 km (less than 2 miles) from Katakolon, 12 km (7.5 miles) from Pyrgos and 32 km (20 miles) from Ancient Olympia.
The estate is extensive with over 150 years of history in the production of wine, olive oil and in the olden days, Corinthian grapes (or currants). It belongs to the Mercouri family; a family with a particular love of the earth. The estate was founded in 1864 when Theodoros Mercouri, a cosmopolitan and successful businessman with interests in Northern Italy but mainly in Alexandria (Egypt), bought land that would eventually became the Mercouri Estate.
There followed a few years later the planting of the first vineyard with Refosco grapes that were imported from Northern Italy. In the late 19th century, wine from the estate was exported to other parts of Europe. Traditional ships of the day landed in the small private bay beside the estate to collect red wine in oak barrels, with the port of Trieste as their destination.
At the same time, the estate, quickly become renowned in Ilia, supplying the surrounding region for many decades with the Refosco grape, or the “Mercouri” as it became locally known. In 1930, Leonidas Mercouri developed a modern wine production facility for the day, with underground cellars for approximately 300 tones of wine that remained in use up until 1960.
In 1985, the 3rd and 4th generation of the family began a systematic effort to revive the winemaking tradition of this historic property with the production of branded products. In 1992 the Mercouri Estate became a private family limited company. Today the company is operated by the 4th generation of the family.
The estate vineyards are located beside the family residence and in two nearby locations, with a total area of approximately 45 acres. The land and the climate are particularly well-suited for the production of high-quality wines and the vineyards are certified for Best Farming Practice.
The estate grows more than 15 varieties of grape of both Greek and international origin including the red Refosco (or Mondeuse Noir), Avgoustiatis, Mavrodaphne, Merlot, Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Negroamaro and the white Robola, Viognier, Ribolla Gialla, Malvazia Aromatica, Albarino.
In addition to the production of wines and olive oil, the Mercouri Estate Winery expanded its activities in the tourism sector, welcoming large or small groups of wine lovers and nature enthusiasts. Tours allow for the possibility to visit the wine production facilities, vineyards and olive groves of the estate, as well as the small agricultural museum with its impressive collection of old agricultural tools and machinery. Guests are also permitted to walk among the trees and to the nearby private beach, a chance to get in touch with the natural beauties of the region.
Tour ends with a sampling of products from the estate under old pine trees, with views to the Ionian Sea and the island of Zante. Guests also have the possibility to purchase estate products at special prices.